South Africa v W Indies, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 1st day January 2, 2004

Rudolph: 'I never really felt under huge pressure'

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Jacques Rudolph drives on his way to his hundred at Cape Town
© Touchline

Jacques Rudolph's timely hundred should have bought him more time to convert his undoubted talent into runs, as well as temporarily silencing the critics who have been calling for his head.

Rudolph struck his second Test century on the first day of the third Test at Newlands, ending a wretched period in which he scored only 214 runs in 12 innings. It all started so well, Rudolph making 222 not out against Bangladesh at Chittagong on debut in May, adding 71 in the second Test at Dhaka.

"It was tough for me after getting that hundred at Chittagong but I never really felt I was under huge pressure," a relieved Rudolph told reporters. "I spoke to Omar Henry [South Africa's convener of selectors] before the series and he told me he was going to give me a run.

"I knew I simply had to work harder and today I knew I had to hang in there and get that hundred. Unfortunately I got out at the end of the day.

"It was unfortunate that we lost those three wickets," added Rudolph, referring to the collapse in the final five overs of the day. "But Polly [Shaun Pollock] is still there and so is Mark Boucher. If we can see off the new ball tomorrow and put together some partnerships we can capitalise on the start we have."